Tag Archives: love

Why Forgiveness is No Longer for Me

I Forgave Myself

I forgave myself…

  • for not being as good a friend as I could have been, especially during times of their grief.
  • for getting into debt. Well almost. My plan was to fully forgive after I had finished paying off all of my debts.
  • for being socially awkward many times in my life, including a few recently that embarrassed me.
  • for taking too long writing and editing my memoir.
  • for not recognizing that I was in an abusive relationship, for putting him first to the detriment of myself, for staying way too long…

 

In fact, this major awakening around the concept of forgiveness I’m about to share started a few years ago, as I learned how the subconscious mind works, but really developed because there was a part in one of my book drafts where I made those exact self-forgiveness statements regarding my abusive marriage.

As I read that section again later, it occurred to me that other women who have been (or still were) in an abusive relationship might internalize those statements, and I absolutely did not want them to think that they needed forgiveness!

And if they didn’t need forgiveness, why did I

It became crystal clear in the context of having been a victim to a perpetrator abusing me, that I needed no forgiveness. What an absurd notion—to need forgiveness for the acts of another person?!

But what about the aspects that were my choice, such as staying with him when I knew I could have safely left. Those facets were at least partially attributed to his lies and manipulation, which convoluted my choice. However, regardless of whether my choice was absolutely clear in the big picture or twisted by circumstances, the answer is still obvious that still no forgiveness is needed.

Subconscious Programming and Awareness Levels Matter

I did exactly what I was programmed to do—sacrifice myself to be loved. In this case, that deep-seeded belief system showed up as my sacrificing myself for God’s bigger picture, for my husband to have a greater chance at healing and redemption.

Why would I need forgiveness for executing a hard-wired program that, in addition to being the filter through which we all process all of our life experiences, was (in theory and intent) completely in line with my religious upbringing?

No, I didn’t need forgiveness for my acting through my subconscious program (based on the fact that that is simply how humans function)! Nor did I need forgiveness for my then-level of awareness.

I didn’t need forgiveness any more than a child needs forgiveness for falling during her attempts to learn to walk.

Thus I have two solid reasons for not needing to forgive myself—I didn’t make his choices, he did, and my programming and awareness simply were what they were.

But what if I still felt like a stupid idiot? If so, I lean toward attempting to forgive myself anyway as a solution. I’m not going to go that direction, though, because the only reason to feel stupid is if I feel shame for what happened to me, shame for what he did, shame over my choices, or shame over any other aspect.

Judgment Creates Shame, Which Creates the Desire to Be Forgiven

 

Shame is merely me judging myself as being wrong.

While I would make different choices today, that is only because my awareness has expanded and I have grown as a person. It’s not because “I was wrong back then and I am right now.”

Without judgment of being wrong, there is no need for forgiveness.

Judgment leads to shame, which leads to suffering, which understandably can lead to the desire to forgive oneself (or others) in order to ease that suffering.

Most of us were taught through subtle (or not so subtle) messages that judgment is the overriding law of existence—live to be judged for it, so you better be good.

I submit that the truth is something better…

I submit that we exist to LIVE!

There are natural consequences to our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. There is no judgment attached those in nature or in the Universe.

If you are a jungle cat, you either hunt to eat or you don’t eat. You don’t worry about how stupid you were that your hunt yesterday failed. You just keep going until you succeed at filling your belly.

I propose we recognize the lack of judgment in nature and remove it from ourselves. I propose we stop forgiving ourselves altogether.

Removing judgment removes shame, which removes the need for forgiveness.

I’d far rather assess whether or not my life matches my divine desires, and assess if I am currently (or will be by achieving my desires and goals) harming myself or others. From those assessments, I can make result-based decisions—what serves me and others well and what doesn’t?

There is still evaluation and improvement, if one so desires, but it is all without judgment.

So much more can be done to improve ourselves when we are not caught up in judgment and shame!

Yes, forgiveness traditionally has helped with that shame, but how infinitely more effective is our joy if we remove the root cause of it in the first place?!

I propose that we love ourselves unconditionally. I propose that we see ourselves and others without judgment.

This open approach is even more complete and effective than forgiveness, because it eliminates the need for forgiveness and it is based in pure love.

I propose that we simply love.

Four Words that Will Change Everything Part 1

When you were first dazzled by the modern Cinderella story in Pretty Woman as Vivian emerged from her dark and uncertain life to become a lady in love and temporally cared for, did the vision of triumphant love and authenticity end with the credits when you left the theater?

Were you stuck on the saving actions of Edward? How he saved her from her tough life, even if you recognized she saved him as well?

Or did you realize that it was her story and as her story, it was all about her saving herself?

It wasn’t Edward. It was Vivian.

It’s never the external that saves us, though as influential factors they are greatly appreciated. The external isn’t the cause of our plight or out saving, it’s the result. Our experiences with the external circumstances are the result.

The result of what?

Of us. Of our lessons to be learned, our view points, and most significantly, the result our internal programming and mindset.

When the change happens, when our lives turn around, when that miracle comes through, it’s always because of us. Because we were ready to change, to bring our true authentic self forward, to breakthrough, stretch, and grow, even if it scares the sh!t out of us.

We take in the support, the assistance, the divine guidance. We use those, and in the end, it works out because of us. Because of four little words Kit and Vivian told each other every time they went to work.

“Take care of you.”


This is the foundation of my new program, Design Your Empowered Life, where beauty and miracles infuse your individual goals and desires in your daily life as well as long-term goals. Confidence, energy, time, finances, and all that is necessary for joyful living are yours when you empower yourself with what you need and want. Take care of you and learn more here.

Hurry, because today (Friday, 10/14/16) is the last day for the special HelpFindKelsie.com discount.

50 Shades of Grey and Love Balloons at Cinemark

50 Shades of Grey at Cinemark on Valentine’s Day—Make Love, not Abuse

Only one person flipped us off.

The vast majority of passersby honked, waved, or gave a thumbs up! We were not out there a minute when the first car that passed us honked in support.

Within five minutes, the coolest thing happened that solidified the tone of love for the rest of the hour and a half we stood at the corner of Cinemark’s south entrance and Tutt Blvd., displaying messages to raise awareness and show our support of love, not abuse.

Tanisha ~ Ask me about REAL LIFE with

 

Ask me about REAL LIFE with “CHRISTIAN GREY”

MANIPULATED consent is not the same as CONSENT

How do you define ABUSE?
(control, humiliation, force, unsympathetic, coercion, intimidation, manipulation, threats, jealousy, violence)

“Kinks” & “prudes” AGREE… ABUSE is not SEXY

FREE HUGS from a DVSA survivor

My original intent with my friend Phyllis was to stand closer to the movie theater so we could create dialogue with moviegoers on foot, but security asked me to leave before she even arrived. I wasn’t interested in causing a scene, and Phyllis ended up having to work anyway, so the first attempt on Friday, February 13, was a bust.

On Saturday, my friend Julie and I met and tried again, this time by the street. Security drove through the back parking lot several times, but let us be.

Julie ~ FREE HUGS from a DVSA survivor

In that hour and a half, we didn’t create direct dialogue, but our message did get noticed.

One lady rolled down her window and profusely thanked us for taking a stand. A few people wouldn’t make eye contact or let us see them check out our signs. Others craned their neck to continue reading as their driver made the turn out of the drive onto Tutt.

For all the women who couldn’t wait to see the movie, there are so many more people of all genders and ages who were either already against it or now have something to seriously think about.

Tanisha ~ How do you define ABUSE?

We are not alone.

The highlight within the first five minutes that set the tone?

On this light, breezy Valentine’s Day, the most awesome guy ever approached us in a truck filled with red heart-shaped helium balloons and gave one to each of us. His three (or five!) point turn around in the entrance to get back where he came from, told us we were appreciated—that he made a special trip just for us.

As victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and manipulation ourselves, we tied our love balloons to each other’s wrists and prepared to take our stand.

 


Donate

Click here to learn more about why we are boycotting 50 Shades of Grey in favor of donating to a local DVSA (Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) shelter instead.

My Story

(WARNING – graphic content and potential trigger.) Read part of my personal story as it relates to 50 Shades here.

Get Help—Resources

See local and national resources here.

I Don’t Hate 50 Shades of Grey Because of its BDSM Content

*** WARNING – Graphic Content and Potential Triggers ***

I don’t hate 50 Shades of Grey because of its “BDSM” content.

I hate 50 Shades of Grey because of it’s dangerous messages to those who are abused and to the abusers.

I hate it because so many people are in defense of it in the name of “leaving people to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own home” and “prudes don’t need to take us back 50 years.” While they may have had a point if we were strictly talking about consensual BDSM, that is not the issue, because we are not talking about BDSM with 50 Shades of Grey. These books are taking us back 50 years because they are about abuse—masturbatory literature about abuse.

Abuse is not sexy.

The glorification of that abuse is not sexy. The glorification of that abuse is scary.

The fact that its defenders don’t even recognize it as abuse is even more scary.


50 Shades normalizes sexual abuse and manipulation masquerading as BDSM.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual

The motto of the BDSM community is, “Safe, Sane, and Consensual,” as explained in Techniques of Pleasure by Margot Weiss.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual (SSC) is the mantra of SM in the United States today. Coined in 1983 by David Stein as part of the statement of purpose of GMSMA (Gay Male S/M Activists), the slogan was popularized across the country and is now widely endorsed by BDSM organizations. Stein notes that the slogan was originally understood to distinguish “defensible” SM, practiced on “willing partners for mutual satisfaction,” from “harmful, antisocial, predatory behavior,” “the coercive abuse of unwilling victims.” Beyond being a motto, however, Safe, Sane, and Consensual has become critical to the social organization of SM; it is the primary way practitioners distinguish between good, safe, acceptable SM and bad, unsafe, unacceptable practice. To ensure that the community of practitioners corresponds to SSC rules, several practices have become standardized; the two largest, most institutionalized are negotiation and using safewords.

I am not personally in the BDSM community, but I stand with them in calling out 50 Shades to shed the wool and reveal the rabid wolf lurking within.

Why? Because having been in a similarly abusive relationship, I recognize it when I see it.

In 50 Shades, Christian Grey uses predatory consent, convincing a naive girl who had no idea what she was getting into to sign a contract wherein she agreed to be his submissive for two days a week, and he has the right to punish her in any way he wants if she disobeys. In exchange, he offers her financial gain and “ultimate sexual pleasure.”

Manipulating consent from a naive girl is the first problem that occurs over and over again. Consent is what distinguishes mutual BDSM play from real life abuse. Predatory consent is not the same as consent.

He also ignores her safe word, and on top of that berates her for having her own boundaries. That is abuse.

My Very Own Christian Grey

Like Christian Grey, my ex-husband also used BDSM as an excuse to abuse and manipulate.

Our contract was our marriage certificate, and my compensation was that maybe he would stop looking at porn, stop cheating, and stop the internal fight among his “multiple-personalities.”

I can’t say what his thought process was, but I can share what my experience was.

First of all, I didn’t know anything about the aforementioned rules. At one point we established a safe word, but that was the closest to any type of understanding I had, and I fear his only understanding came from watching violent porn.

I tried to talk to him about what I desired in a loving, sexual relationship between husband and wife, because we had that sometimes. We had that quite a bit, actually. I also told him what kink I was enjoying and what made me uncomfortable, but it snowballed out of control into a perpetual fight over whether or not I truly loved him.

I allowed him to pour hot wax on my body including sensitive areas. It burned, but cooled quickly. It was exciting, and scary, and strange. Ultimately for me it was all lust. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel safe. It wasn’t what I wanted. Another time I agreed to do it again, but we changed candles and the wax burned much hotter. I told him to stop and that I didn’t want to do it ever again. When I shared my feelings with him that it wasn’t what I wanted, that it felt like pure lust and I didn’t feel loved, that it felt less like sex and more like he was actually pouring hot wax on me to hurt me and get off on hurting me, he discounted my feelings.

A true partner would have listened and taken my feelings into consideration. His answer was, “You like it. I know you do because that was the wettest you’ve ever been.”

He used that statement over and over again to discount my feelings of discomfort any time they came up. That is abuse. He reminded me that if I didn’t do it I must not love him. That is manipulation. 

It overflowed outside of sex into our day-to-day life. He wanted to punish me over disagreements, often threatening to whip me with the buckle part of his belt, rather than the strap, which I could sometimes tolerate during sex.

He told me several times that if I would just do what he wanted for 24 hours with no caveat, things would get better. According to his words, if I agreed, I would be showing him how much I love him and he would get his many conflicts out of his system, including his desire for extreme porn, his infidelity, his habit of choking me when we got into a fight, and in his internal conflict with his “multiple-personality”-type issues.

It was tempting after having hoped for so long and having fought through hell for him and us, to just believe him and give in. What if it really did get better? What if he would finally see that I did love him because I was willing to do this?

As far as the “no caveat” rule went, we couldn’t acknowledge any boundaries whatsoever. I just had to trust him—a man who had sexually assaulted me through a hostile “personality” named Animal, who the first time I met him forced me to swallow or he would “stick it in my ass;” a man who masturbated to internet porn of varying extremities, including women being whipped until they were bleeding, women who were clearly drugged with insects crawling over them, a woman being taken from behind while her face was shoved into a flushing toilet, and one who had her breasts nail-gunned to a board. He described the latter to me and said he felt a bit guilty for getting off on that.

No, I couldn’t trust him. I didn’t believe he would actually go so far as to bring in a third person to abuse, as his verbal fantasies reveled in, such as the time he described a fantasy of an ex-girlfriend (whom I knew of in real life) hanging upside-down and us having sex while he decapitated her and blood splattered everywhere. I certainly didn’t believe he would kill or have me kill someone or anything that extreme, but I didn’t know what he would do. I couldn’t trust him with myself.

I always believed him when he said he wanted to be free from the chains of porn and infidelity, that he loved me and wanted a love like I wanted. In a last ditch effort to “help” him, so I naively believed I was doing, I did agree to a compromise of two hours. I thought maybe I could endure it for just two hours and maybe, just maybe he would end this madness once and for all.

I hated every second of it when he told me to strip down to nothing in the bathroom, then pee in a glass and drink it. As I brought it up to my mouth I still didn’t know if I was going to drink it or throw it in his face, but he ended up stopping me. At least he had some limits. It turned out to be a test to see if I was really committed to our agreement.

I did stop the agreement soon after that, however, when he took a photo of me naked in front of a mirror covered in insults he had written with marker like “fat whore” and “Legion’s toy.” No, I didn’t enjoy that. I stopped the whole thing. I made sure he deleted the photo. It was an older phone that he since replaced and I believe that photo no longer exists. I hope I am correct.

Some I consented to, some I consented to under predatory and coercive circumstances, and some I refused. He wanted me to enjoy BDSM, but I didn’t. I couldn’t, especially under such physically and emotionally unsafe circumstances.


50 Shades normalizes the idea that girls love rape.

The line between consent and predatory consent was crossed in 50 Shades, which only serves to reinforce the overall message that girls love to be forced, “punished,” taken advantage of, and raped.

My ex mirrored that when all of the porn he was exposed to and indulged in only further twisted his mind that girls like to be abused, and my level of “wetness” as mentioned above was all the proof he needed. What I said and actually felt meant nothing, as if I’m some animal whose chemical reactions trump all reason, logic, and emotion that set humans apart from animals.

50 Shades‘ message to abusers is dangerous; the message is that they can just keep doing what they’re doing until the girl gives in, or until they get what they want, because either way, she of course secretly likes it is regardless of what she says. We want men to stop rape? We have to stop telling them abuse is not abuse, rape is not rape, and girls love it all.


50 Shades normalizes the dangerous idea that the abuser will change.

Why did I stay with my ex for so long?

Faith and compassion.

The “love story” of 50 Shades illustrates that through abuse, they can get married and overcome all of their trials until they finally arrive at their happy ending, influenced by the pending arrival of a baby. This reinforces the all too common hope of victims that if you have compassion on your abuser because of his past or because of what took his childhood innocence away, and if you just do what he wants, he will eventually come around because “love heals all wounds.”

Almost worse is the idea that a baby will bring you together. Have some men and women risen up to meet the challenge of having a baby? Certainly, but the hope that an abuser will do so is far too risky.

I’m sorry, that is not the happy ending for most women who suffer at the hands of their lovers, nor for the children involved.

The abuse and manipulation was a consistent part of my relationship with my ex, but it wasn’t all of our relationship.

I didn’t see myself as abused for a long time because it wasn’t as bad as being physically beaten and raped, or as bad as having a loaded gun to my head. Those seemed obviously dangerous and terrible, but in my case, “It was ‘just’ a love vs. porn battle. It was ‘just’ him choking me when we got into a fight. I was ‘just’ trying to help my husband get a handle on himself. And my husband whom I loved and loved me too ‘didn’t do anything like what those other men did.'” I couldn’t see it for what it was.

He told me more than once that he chose me. He told me he chose the life I thought we were working towards—a porn-free life of love and respect where kink may or may not have been a part, but certainly not manipulation nor abuse.

Some of his personalities were the most loving, amazing beings I had ever known and they treated me like a queen. They begged me not to give up on them. I promised them with all of my heart that I wouldn’t. They tried to fight off the harmful personalities both from gaining control of the body and hurting me physically or emotionally, and from gaining control in the inside world.

Sometimes they won. Sometimes they failed.

Sometimes they would text me while we were separated wondering where I was and were shocked to learn we were going through a divorce process. They’d fight until “he” and I gave in to hope and we’d cancel the divorce and try again.

The “main” personality was “middle of the road,” like you would expect from a “normal” relationship. He had his strengths and weaknesses, but I believed him when he said he loved me and I believed him when he said he wanted to be someone better for us.

How could I give up on the part of him that was trying? How could I give up when I promised the best of him I wouldn’t? How could I give up on the seven year old little boy that was first exposed to porn, who eventually became this sick and twisted monster? That little boy was surely still somewhere inside, and the loving part of him was certainly worth it. How could I give up on someone who had lost his way from the good, strong family of values in which he was raised? How could I give up and prove to him his worst fear is true—that he is unlovable? How could I turn my back on him, and not only him but my faith in God and a Savior who I believe really can heal all wounds?

No matter how much I tried, how much I changed, tolerated, participated, reasoned, etc. No matter what I did, his promises were empty and he always returned to his abusive, manipulative, and reckless behavior.

This is sadly the norm.

It was never up to me to change him, not even to support and love him through it. His choices were his and if he exceeded my boundaries, if he abused and manipulated, that was enough to leave immediately. And now I know. Now I understand how far it can go, I know what the red flags are, and I will never naively tolerate it again.

I won’t pretend to know each individual situation and their specific answers and timelines. I have a friend who stuck by her physically abusive husband because he said he wanted to change and actually followed through. Was it a hard road? Absolutely. But he did actually progress, while she became more assertive at the same time, and their relationship is safe now. Is it perfect? Of course not, but she is safe, their kids are safe, and they can focus on acceptable marital issues rather than on the abuse.

In my relationship, I finally did give up, and it was the best decision for me. I went through a major personal breakthrough that empowered me with self-respect. I didn’t even know I was missing self-respect, when I had thought I was doing good in the world and for him. I realized that I have to be the most important person in my life because I am the only person I have control over, and I can’t afford to give my power of choice away to anyone or anything else. And if I’m hurting or caught up in a twisted mess, I really can’t do myself or anyone else any good, not even him.

My self-respect engaged and made me realize I was worth so much more than that, so I told him I wanted to get divorced. It was basically mutual, he was tired of fighting too, mostly over sex, porn, cheating, and abuse. He moved out and we filed right away. No loving personalities tried to contact me this time, thinking we were still together. He did, however, call me to ask me to reconsider. It was about a month after we filed, with two months left in the waiting period before it would be final. I told him I would reconsider after he got his life straightened out, and not before. I did love him, but I would no longer tolerate the way he treated and manipulated me.

He hung up on me and immediately sent me four photos of naked girls and followed up with a text that there were actually five girls he’s with since we filed, but he could only send those four photos for some reason. I deleted it all and never looked back.


“Prudes” and “Kinks” Stand Together Against Abuse

Now that I have personally had a taste of the horrors of abuse and the effects of extreme porn, including human trafficking I have since learned about, I have zero tolerance for abuse and manipulation. 50 Shades of Grey and its defenders enrage me because before my “education” I, too, was naive. I didn’t realize how close to home abuse and sexual misconduct would come, nor how damaging, prevalent, risky, and dangerous it is all around us. I too may have thought of 50 Shades, “That’s just BDSM, don’t watch it if you don’t like it.” I would have been wrong. I would have been part of the problem.

If you are “straight-laced,” that is fine. If you are into kink and BDSM, that is fine. Just keep proper consent where it should be, and DO NOT defend real abuse. Whichever camp you are in, don’t sit idly by ignoring or condoning that abuse, because if you do, YOU are what’s wrong with our culture of rape and sexual assault. YOU are what’s wrong with society’s blind eye turned away from the tens of millions of sex slaves globally, including the 100,000 – 300,000 children in America who are tortured and abused today.  YOU are what’s wrong with the suffering not being able to have a voice. YOU are perpetuating this heinous behavior into the mainstream lives of innocent people—men, women, and children.

Instead, get educated, hear my story and others like mine (and worse). See abuse for what it is. Protect yourself and your children from it. Take a stand with me and the “prudes” and the “kinks” to prevent, heal, and eventually END sexual violence, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

If you are suffering, you are not alone.

Resources for Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking/Sex Slavery

National Sexual Violence Hotline
RAINN.org
(800) 656-HOPE
Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. Get help or get information.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
TheHotline.org
(800) 799-7233
“…no fees, no names, no judgment.” Get help or get involved.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center—Polaris Project
PolarisProject.org
(888) 3737-888
Get help or call if you suspect human trafficking including adult women prostitutes under force or coercion of a pimp, and all minors regardless of “consent.”

Morality in Media / Porn Harms—The Dirty Dozen List
PornHarms.com/dirtydozen
Just released 1/21/15, 50 Shades of Grey makes the list of 12 leading contributors to sexual exploitation!

 


HELP VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

Instead of watching the 50 Shades of Grey movie, please donate to a local DVSA shelter, like TESSA in Colorado Springs.

Learn more or find a directory for a shelter in your area here.

Help TESSA help victims. Donate here.

 

I Cried for Stephen. I Cried for all of Humanity.

The best part of being human is the worst part of being human.

Our ability to love, and to willingly choose it, fills us with unspeakable joy, but only at a price—we can’t truly have the capacity to experience such joy, without also having to feel the depths of despair at the horrors of life.

I read this story written by a former social worker about Stephen, who was never given the gift that everyone deserves—a loving family.

I sobbed uncontrollably for an hour. I cried for Stephen, whom I had never met nor heard of in person. I cried for all of humanity. I had “choice words” with God about it. I curled up in a ball. I stormed around my home. I couldn’t take it. When my energy was spent, I went to sleep—not a restful sleep, but sleep nonetheless.

Each of us can’t save everybody, hell, we can hardly take care of ourselves it seems, but we can all do a little more to let someone else know they are loved.

I demanded of myself to find a way to do more, to do better. I didn’t know what, but I would do something.

The next day I received an email from Urban Peak, the local teen homeless shelter where I am listed as a volunteer (I used to do street outreach with them until they shifted the program and stopped taking volunteers out with them). They were asking for volunteers to spend some evenings with the kids doing workshops or something fun and productive as the temperature drops and they can not longer participate in their favorite outdoor activities.

I knew immediately I could do something. Even though I actually still struggle with feeling like I belong, and who am I to think I have something worthwhile to offer (yes, even as a kung fu master and school owner, and life coach, I still struggle with my own programs!), I emailed the coordinator right away with a list of ideas around my professional skills and personal hobbies. She was so kind in her extremely grateful response! One step in the right direction.

I may never know if I’m even making a difference, but that’s okay. It’s not about me. It’s about them. It’s about bringing them something to do to fill the evening, a “family night,” if you will, and sharing my kind personality which treats them with care and respect. So that’s what I will do.

Will it change their entire lives? Probably not. But all the little things will add up for them and be a positive experience, I hope.

It’s About Love

I am reminded of when my brother, Bo, shared with me that he was driving an alcoholic member of his church to her AA meetings. Someone in authority in his church organization told him he was wasting his time because she’s not changing and hasn’t improved in years. Bo said he wasn’t doing it in order to get her to change. He was doing it so she knew someone loved her.

I hope the kids at Urban Peak know they are loved. I hope Stephen knew his social worker loved him. If he didn’t while he was alive, at least he does now.

It’s national adoption month, and two days ago was my sweet baby boy’s birthday. While my circumstances around being pregnant, issues with a family member whom I lived with during that time, labor, and giving birth were traumatizing for me, the one thing that was peaceful was knowing the family I chose to give him to was right for him. That peace has stayed with me for 22 years and I have been blessed to never doubt it.

I am thankful to his parents for stepping up to raise my child as their own.

I hope to be a more loving person every day to others who need to know they matter. Which is everyone from the most troubled youth, to the most put-together CEO. Everyone struggles and everyone needs to know they are loved.

What Can You Do?

If you’re local to Colorado Springs, consider spending a Night Out to fund-raise for Urban Peak. Learn about it here.

Otherwise, there are tons of organizations from homeless shelters, to battered women’s programs, to all kinds of support for all kinds of issues. Please find one that speaks to you and get involved. Start with Google, or ask your friends what they know about, and see what you find!